MSNBC: Man Avoids 'Sky High Gas Prices' by Riding Horse

Gas prices got you down? Ride a horse, says MSNBC.

On a "MSNBC Live," report on "sky high gas prices" anchor Tamron Hall relayed the story of one man who is using a horse rather than a vehicle, but did not explain some important reasons why prices have soared.

"The high prices have led ... one Tennessee man to find a more fuel efficient way to get around town in Bradley County: The guy is riding a horse," Hall said on the May 9 broadcast. "It is cheaper to maintain a horse than it is to fill up a gas tank. He says that it costs $150 to $200 a month to ride and feed that pony."

"Just when gas prices were going up that's when I realized that we might bring the 1800s back into today, riding our wagons or whatever," the man said.

But the report did not mention two reasons why prices are so high: the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and ethanol production.

The Balance Sheet pointed out April 23 that in 2005, the U.S. government mandated that biofuels like ethanol be mixed into the nation's gasoline supply - 4 billion gallons in 2006 with a goal of 7.5 billion gallons by 2012.

The increased demand for corn led farmers to switch to the more profitable crop. As ethanol demand bid up the price of corn, other farmers had to pay more to feed animals, driving up the cost of meat and other animal products such as cheese and milk.

Also, when farmers switched from growing wheat, soy and other produce to corn, the supply of the other goods dropped, leading to increased prices-a pricey dish for a horse.

The Business and Media Institute pointed out OPEC's control of the oil market as a part of a Media Myth March 19.

Network reporters covered oil companies' profits 14 times as often as they covered the profits of OPEC - an actual cartel that controls supply and directly affects prices, according to experts like Ariel Cohen, a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation who wrote in June 2005 that OPEC "facilitates" high oil prices.